Mesoamerican Treat: Preztel Macuahuitl

Ever wanted to learn how to make an edible Mesoamerican sword? I’m sure it’s on the top of your bucket list. Well, for my nerdy soulmate out there who’s always wanted to craft treats of ancient civilizations, I’m posting a tutorial!

A macuahuitl (pronounced ma-KWA-weet) is an ancient Mayan weapon used in battle. It was the Mesoamerican equivalent of a sword, but instead of being a thrusting weapon, it was primarily a slashing one. It was typically made of wood, and edged with obsidian blades

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For us westerners, the idea of a wooden sword doesn’t sound that fearsome. We’re used to sharpened and polished steel-bladed swords. However, these bad boys can really do a number. When wielded by fierce warriors, they could easily hack off human limbs.

Today, we’re going to make an edible equivalent aka preztels with chocolate chips.

It’s a super easy treat to make and is a real crowd-pleaser for Mesoamerican-themed parties!

pinterest-preztel

Recipe

  • Serving Size: 20 macuahuitls
  • Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 package of pretzel rods (I used Snyder’s)
  • 1 package of chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk)

Instructions

1. Gather your ingredients

I included peanut butter in this picture because you can use peanut butter as the glue instead of melted chocolate chips, but I opted for the melted chips this time.

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2. Lay out your pretzel rods on a cookie sheet or flat surface with wax paper

You’ll want the wax paper because it can get messy and once the “glue” sets, it’s easier to remove the sticks from wax paper than a normal plate.

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3. Prep your glue

In my case, I used chocolate chips. Take a small handfull (1/4 cup is more than enough) of chocolate chips, and melt them in a small bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Stir the chips all together until they become a viscous liquid.

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4. Start gluing chocolate chips to the sides of each pretzel

Take a tiny dollop of the melted chocolate, and dab it on the bottom of a chocolate chip. Press the chocolate chip to the pretzel, and make sure it’s secure enough so it won’t just fall off.

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Repeat this with 3-4 chocolate chips down 1 side of the pretzel

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5. Repeat on the other side of the pretzel

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6. Freeze

Once you have about 5-10 pretzels made, throw those succors into the freezer on a wax-papered cookie sheet. They only need to be in there for about 5 minutes for the chocolate to solidify and seal the chocolate chips to the pretzel. You can work on the next set of pretzels while the first batch freezes

7. Ta-Da!

That’s it you’re done! You can display your new macuahuitls on a platter, or stick them in some floral foam for a fun display. Have fun slashing human arms with these cool edible mesoamerican swords!

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stick

 

Soap Carving

Today I decided it would be a fun idea to try some soap carving. This is a great activity to do with your kids. I don’t have any kids. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a single good excuse for wanting to try soap carving. But I don’t need an excuse. I soap carved. It was great. I made a fish.

You want to know how to soap carve? It’s really pretty easy, and super fun. If you’ve never done carving or whittling before, soap is a great medium to start on because it’s soft, malleable, and forgiving. You really don’t need any fancy knives; soap is soft enough that you can even use plastic knives!

Supplies

  • Bar of Soap
    • Ivory is a great brand to use – soft and cheap
  • Knife
    • Could be plastic knife or butter knife. I used a metal butter knife
  • X-acto Knife
    • This one is optional for basic patterns. I used the X-acto Knife at the end for some detail work
  • Paper for carving pattern
  • Pencil, toothpick, or pointy object for tracing on to the soap
  • Scissors for cutting out the patter

That’s it! I already had all these materials at my house. The only thing I had to purchase was the X-acto knife, and I quickly discovered that it was pretty optional.

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Step 1

Cut out and trace the pattern

You can print out a free, downloadable pattern that I created here.

fish-pattern printable PDF

fish-picture

However, if you don’t want to use a pre-made template, that’s totally fine, just draw your own!

You’ll just want to make sure that your pattern matches the dimensions of your soap bar, and that you account for not only the top of the bar, but the shape of the sides as well.

The dimensions of the Ivory bar I used were 3.1875″ x 2.125″ x 1″

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Step 2

Once you have your pattern either drawn or printed out, cut it out, and lay it ontop of your unwrapped soap bar. Take your pencil or toothpick and trace the outline of your pattern onto the soap. It does actually mark the soap, it just creates inscribed lines.

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Step 3

Now comes the fun part. With your pattern laid out on your soap bar, you are all set to start carving!

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With your knife, start carving along the outline you drew. It doesn’t have to be super precise, as you’ll be refining the cut a lot more later. Just get the basic outline chiseled out of the block. Remember when it comes to carving, less is more. You can’t exactly¬†add soap back on to the block once you chop it off, so be conservative in your chiseling at first.

Step 4

Once your basic shape has emerged from the block you can proceed with the refining of your shape. This is the part that takes the most patience and skill. Thankfully, soap is a really easy medium for beginners, but it still takes a lot of time and precision to slowly work away at the rough edges to create something smooth and more realistic.

And now behold, the final creation:20170609_204614

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